Pinoy-French Contemporary Dance Week

Enjoyed a different taste of dance during the second part of PETA's East West Danse: Pinoy French Contemporary Dance Week!

The name "Contemporary Dance" describes a range of techniques and styles using the body's natural lines and energy, allowing a greater range and fluidity of movement that conventional dance techniques do not offer. -
This week's DANSE celebration is a collaboration of the French Embassy and PETA.  It was held last June 15 and June 17, 2010 at the PETA Theater.

Unfortunately, because of schedule concerns, I was only able to attend the June 17 presentation.  Thus, I missed Donna Miranda's Anything less is less than a reckless act and Eolipile Dance Company's Entre Deux (In-between).

The first part was a short performance by Caroline Desmaison and Sibille Planques with live music produced by Thierry Madiot using ordinary, day today materials.  This was choreographed by the founder of the Eolipile Dance Company, LIN Yuan Shang.

They utilized elongated balloons as props or tools that became a strong part of the dance.  These acted as weapons or bombs and borders.  But of course, the movements of dancers is still the main attraction.  How they connect in the duo, Kung Fu Commandos or Clamor in the East, Attack in the West.  It is a combination of Kung Fu moves but you would think twice since there are still dance moves incorporated in their body movements.  You could first think that this is a demonstration of Kung Fu routines, however, as the performance goes on, you would be able to see that they are also dancing.  And there is a story being told!  It started with the contact of the dancers, their touch and how they fought and they dances in all these aspects.  The reaction in the movements to one another through action seem to be very spontaneous and natural, although, you would still be conscious and think about how choreographed the presentation is, but there are points wherein you'd forget.

One great factor here that I enjoyed the most is the live music.  I was at first assumed that as usual, it has been recorded and is being played.  However, the music and dance seemed to be so intertwined, and then I saw Thierry Madiot blowing long and short horns, making the siren squeal, flipping and flapping pieces of metal!  That's where the sound was coming from!  And I was so amazed!  The only reason he was using a laptop was for the voice overs.  Aside from that, everything else was live music, live sound.  And it really is a masterpiece when contemporary music jives with contemporary dance and vice versa.

The next performance was the one that made Filipinos proud.  Rhosam Prudencio Jr performed his internationally acclaimed contemporary dance Which Way.  I have already seen him dance together with the rest of the Airdance Company during a jagged weekend.  I liked him back then and the whole company, and I am still amazed on how they could make their bodies move as such!  I also love his facial expressions.  He also had spoken lines in his performance but I was unable to understand it because it was in Ilonggo!  Which, I later found out that it means, "Hayaan mo ko; Alam ko kung saan ako pupunta; Sabi ko na nga ba" (Let me be; I know where I'm going; I said so).  This is all in relation to the story of his performance.  It was about his struggle as person, in finding out who he was, he is and who he wants to be.  It could not be denied that the dance was really personal to him.  Not just because I am also a Filipino, but this was the performance I was able to relate to the most.

The last performance was choreographed and interpreted by LIN Yuan Shang, Kung fu Dancing.  He used a lot of overhead projected videos.  But I love the light quality that made his shadow and/silhouette so crisp and clear and detailed.  There are times that I would be watching that instead.  There was a line that caught my attention. "Why is it easier to watch Kung Fu movies than Kung Fu dancing?"  I would not really know the answer to the question, but I cannot object to it.  For the rest of his performance, this was the question I have in mind.  Is it the story?  Well, the Kung Fu dance also has a story to tell, although, you would not be able to tell it as easy as a Kung Fu movie.  There were even clips of old movies from Jet Li (who I love!) and Kung Fu Hustle (that I sooo enjoyed!).  But of course, Master LIN Yuan Shang's move could not be easily dismissed.  He really is a Kung Fu dancer!  However, I would love to help him in speaking better English, or better yet, Filipino! :)

After all the performances, there was an open forum wherein you could ask questions to all the performers.  There were a number of questions but it was difficult because of the language barrier since most of the artists are French.  But some of the details I already mentioned was from their answers during the discussion.  They have also commended PETA for a wonderful stay in the country.  "PETA is a place for art to be free!"  It's a good thing to know that Filipinos haven't lost their hospitality trait.

I again enjoyed another night of art.  Thanks to PETA and to Slenda (I was able to get my freebies already!) for having this event for us to enjoy!

Please forgive the quality of the photos.  I was using my SE W995 for these photos and the Cannon Powershot SX210 is definitely the top of my birthday wish list.

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The Jagged Barn

Your oblivious but observing blogger.


  1. i have not tried watching any shows at PETA, I should bring my daughter there

  2. hi girlie, thanks for dropping by! the last leg of the PETA's Danse celebration is on saturday, june 26 for "sayaw sabel". they have a 2pm and 6pm show.